The emerging EU peacebuilding framework: Confirming or transcending liberal peacebuilding?

Oliver Richmond, Annika Björkdahl, Stefanie Kappler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


The European Union (EU) is now emerging as a major actor in regional and global peacebuilding. Yet its peacebuilding approach and practices are subject to some significant and familiar contradictions. In this article, we identify the basis for what may become an 'EU peacebuilding framework' (EUPF), and argue that, while it aspires to a 'just and durable peace' including practical tools and a normative framework, these need to be set in critical relief. The EU's nascent approach to building peace is compared and contrasted with the evolving liberal peacebuilding consensus and the much criticized statebuilding project which has recently emerged. This is evaluated against recent research focusing on developing a more sophisticated form of contextually relevant peacebuilding. Finally, we assess how the embryonic EUPF might contribute to the development of a just and durable peace, and ask what sorts of issues and dimensions this raises.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-469
Number of pages21
JournalCambridge Review of International Affairs
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This article was written as part of a larger research project on ‘Just and Durable Peace by Piece’ (number 217488), which is funded by the EU’s 7th Framework Programme. For more information, visit , We thank our project partners for their comments. All errors remain the responsibility of the authors.


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